I've been wondering for awhile now if Ella might benefit from some extra therapy, in addition to the in-home services she has been getting basically from birth. Ella receives weekly in home speech therapy and twice a month occupational therapy as her main ones, but I had a feeling we could be doing more. I put off calling the Pediatric Therapy place in town all summer, because.. well.. it was summer, but when school started I finally made the call. I was nervous because Ella has always taken such a long time to warm up to people and since crying can give her reflux and an upset tummy I've never wanted our therapists to push her too far. I worried these new therapists wouldn't understand her or would want to push her beyond what I was comfortable. We had our consultation in early September and initially I was only asking for additional Speech Therapy. After our consult the therapists decided they really wanted to see Ella for OT and PT every week as well. At first I wasn't sold on the idea. After Ella started walking our once-weekly in home PT went down to once every 6 months. And now this therapist said we needed weekly again? I was hoping for more of a happy medium between once every 6 months and once every week, but I decided we'd try it.
So far Ella has been doing awesome in Speech and working really hard at trying to make her consonant sounds. Her therapist is so warm and friendly, yet doesn't let Ella get away with the usual tactics that get her off the hook-that sweet smile being one of them. :)
Sorry for the cruddy phone pics
Sorry for the cruddy phone pics
In OT Ella has been doing a great job learning to cut with scissors and gaining fine motor skills.
And after we went a few times I saw that Ella loved the PT time in the big gym and as long as we're there it's not really a big deal to stay an extra half hour. I just have to keep this guy from destroying the place in the meantime..
They have a balance beam that rests on the floor and when Ella pushes her stroller over it, she practically runs across the entire thing without stepping off once.
One of the things the therapists really want Ella to be able to do is walk up stairs without holding onto the railing. Just this last Tuesday I saw her take a step up on this foam stair without holding on to anything for the first time ever. Yay!
We love her therapists there (and the ones that come to our home too!) and they have done a really good job at listening to our concerns and finding creative ways to help Ella. It's like it's their job or something..
Bonus: This place is like a 'free' play-all-day for Hudson.
After I saw how well Ella has been doing here I started to beat myself up a little, thinking maybe I should have started her with extra therapy years ago. Would she be further along by now if I had? Would she be talking? Know more signs? Be more confident? I guess I don't and won't ever know the answer to that, but since Ella has only in the past year or less really started to overcome her stranger anxiety I think we're probably starting this at just the right time for her.
Don't you think we need one of these in our new basement???
Yes, yes you do..
The next thing I'm hoping Ella might be ready for is a Horse Therapy program in our area as well.
Now just to find an open day in this busy schedule..